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Hi Spaz

I don't know for sure if it is an addict speaking in you... but I do know for sure it is fear speaking. :-) Whether we are addicted or merely dependent, life without the help of drugs can be a real fear inducer. Withdrawal, in the end, is equally scary and the rules for withdrawal are the same.

Like you, I was at first taking the meds legitimately for pain for many years... it was the pnly way I could keep working. I crossed the line into abuse and addiction when I began to use them for mental pain as well. In the end, the absolute fatique that was certainly in large part to the Oxycodone did me in. When I finally decided I had to get off the pills, I had to make other scary decisions as well. I has to recognize that my working life as I knew it was done. I was 55 years old. There was no choice but early retirement. That was a blow to me. However, now that I am retired and off all pain meds, I am able to handle the pain with rest, heat, ice and aspirin.

I found myself again. My life is certainly different, but it is a good life. While I am still tired at times, the total exhaustion is gone. I am able once again to participate in family activities and in life in general. Oh, there are still limitations, but no where near the ones I had when the pills controlled me.

When we are making life decisions, sometimes we must think outside the box. In the end, I chose living over just exisiting.

That is my story. I don'tr know where your story will end, but whatever your decision, it will be the one that works best for you.

Wishing you the best
When you refer to doing this "alone" and disappearing for a while, can I ask are you actually physically leaving your home, wife and friends? If so, please think about how your doing this. Although tapering at home is not the preferred method for someone on the dose you are, actually "leaving" your life, won't make it any easier. You'll need the support of your wife, more than you opposed to hurting her, you'll need her strength to draw from. And I'm sure as she loves you, she does not want you to do this alone. Actually leaving and her not knowing how you are, where you are, this would be more cruel and hurtful to her than, letting her see you at your weakest.

God is good, and he gives us strength and he can heal anyone of us at anytime...he also puts challenges in our lives, he states very clearly that he's not hear to make everything easy, free will took care of that many, many years ago. Not only can God heal us, but he also gave the knowledge of treatment and caring to doctors, so that they can help us get through these trials. Just because you use meds and docs to deal with and treat your pain, does not mean you've given up your hope in God's love and trust....he's with you 24/7.

Please just consider the course your's very dangerous, and your wife and kids will be none the better being without you, in whatever capacity. Sobriety, dependence, addiction....these are not things that can be beat singularly and take support, care, people.....

I'll keep you in my prayers and hope that your doing okay.

You CAN do this if you plan properly. I am almost 3 weeks off detoxing from 240 mg/day oxycontin. I did this at home but under a doctor's supervision. He prescribed a variety of meds to help with the withdrawal symptoms. The hardest part has been horrible insomnia (3 hours sleep a night at best for 2 weeks), but this is slowly improving. Also a nightmare was the rushing anxiety/adrenaline despite being on a clonidine patch and taking a barbituate. Didn't have any nausa/vomiting. The clonidine patch is critical. It controls your blood pressure and ability to regulate your temperature. The hardest problem right now is manging my chronic back pain (which is more fierce than ever). In fact, I have so much muscle tension from lying around these past 2 weeks that my entire back is in spasm. Doctor just prescribed some valium (short term) to help me through this. Trying to be more active but it's tough. Body is deconditioned and weakened. Still, I am fully committed to this. Been through the worst. I had horrible side effects from the narcotics. My colon essentially shut down. I was tired all the time. Despite this, I managed to work full-time from home through the past 8 years while on these meds. I recommend getting away from all stressors for 2 weeks. Have someone available to check in on you and help. My only responsibility was walking the dog for 20 min a day and even that was a challenge. If you have any history of addiction, you should consider an inpatient program. My dr felt confident I could do this on my own. Why didn't I taper down slowly. Two reasons. I felt that I would not stick too the schedule. Too many excuses. I can't sleep because of pain, better take another dose. Have to go to an event and sit, better take another dose. Also, I was freaked out about my colon shutting down (it is slowly coming back to life but not normal yet). Only you can decide how and when to get off of pain meds. For years I told myself that this was the only way I could be semi-functional. I am less than physically semi-functional now, but will have to work hard to strengthen my core and body. It will take time and patience. Best of luck to you. Let me know if I can help in any way
Missed work yesterday, Had a bad night. Tapering isn"t working to well, as I am missing work anyway. So, I am ready to dispose of all meds and miss work all at once. Feel sick all at once and get on with whatever quality of life I end up with. Have to work Saturday, then I think I will begin the rest of my recovery and do no more pills. Will just stay home and not go away as I had planned. Wife will be out of town for few days so maybe I can just sleep it away. Will take last dose Saturday A.M.. Will go to church Sunday. Love the church I go to and haven't missed in year and a half if I am in town. Well I did miss once when sick. Seems so many people are making same hard decisions I am. Analyzing the quality of life and doing best to do whats right for them. Still not sure of diffrence between addiction and dependancy. Think it is just simantics ! I have really noticed a decrease in my desire to take the meds. The cravings or whatever. Getting really frustrated with tapering as I cannot afford to miss a day ever week or 2. $200 every day I miss. Putting a real strain on us financially. Well, Goodluck to all of you going through same issues as me. God bless you all with the strength and support you need to be successful, and if you slip up, the resilience to try again. This I ask in the name of our Lord.
It's weird how we're so alike. I too worked in manufacturing...shift work to boot, and had bad back problems. I was in my 30's and never touched drugs or drank. After a car wreck and some ruptured discs, the Dr. put me on hydros. It did wonders, at first. I took it every day b/c I hurt every day. Plus, I had all this energy and was in a good mood. Problem is, you will build up a tolerance AND become physically addicted after one year, period. I didn't know this and thought all was ok b/c it's from my Dr.! Long story short, I started taking more...first a half a pill extra, then 2, then it got crazy. After 18 mos., I was hooked. The withdrawls were horrible...literally hung myself b/c they were so bad and the local rehab place gave me meds that did nothing. So I went online (this is in 2004), found out about Suboxone, and spent a month in a rehab place out of town. I suffered NO w/drawls, and the medicine is a pain-killer too. Also a sabotage medicine is in it, so if you try to take any opiates while on it, it'll send you into withdrawls! Since I'm from a small city in TX, I had to drive 200 miles every month to continue to get Suboxone. I had to do this until this last year! Finally, there's a Dr. here where I live. Gee, it only took 6 years. The good news for you is that it's available at a private Dr.'s office, you don't have to go to rehab (that was just my choice), and after he evaluates you, you usually can leave with a prescription and go get it filled at a pharmacy. You won't have to take off from work, won't have to suffer w/drawls, and the thing I learned is that ironically the more you take painkillers, the less your body makes it's own. So when I quit the opiates, after a while my pain went way down naturally. My work did random drug tests, and Suboxone does not show up on a regular test, so that helps too. Switching will also probably help your poor liver, b/c Suboxone is melted under the tongue and into the bloodstream, and your body doesn't have to process a bunch of acetaminophen. Say bye-bye to nausea too. Wherever you live, there is a list of Dr.s who prescribe it, and I'm sure you can contact the maker, but I can't tell you how b/c the Admin. said so a long time ago. But they have a toll free number and I'm sure a website. They'll help you find a Dr. Most require a drug test at first, and some random ones occasionally just to be sure. They have to I think. Even though I have 7 herniated discs (5 in my neck, 2 in my back, inoperable), believe it or not, all I take now is a fourth of a pill and an anti-inflammatory. Also, my chiropractor is my hero. I get horrible spasms and migraines sometimes, and he fixes me right up. As for all these ppl. thinking changing to Suboxone is just going from one addiction to another, well, that's b/s. One is a never-ending nightmare where you are a slave and even weaning off is almost impossible, the other (Suboxone) is the cure and yes, you can easily wean off. After 5 yrs. on it for intractable pain, my Dr. asked me to, and when I did, he graduated me to Subutex. I do understand where you are. I've been there, and thank God for Suboxone, I'm OK today. I'm back to my normal self, and so what if I take 2mg. 2 times a day? I consider myself clean now. The pills don't give me any "high", and it truly is just for pain. The bare minimum now. (When I first started, I did take the full 8mg twice daily). This is the answer that will just be between you and your Dr. and will not interfere w/your work and you can get off the nightmare ride that is opiate addiction. In a way, becoming a "drug addict" helped me...I'm so much more sympathetic and understanding. My prayers are with you, and I hope this advice helps.

Philster2003 is a wonderful friend of this board and a wealth of information on addiction and recovery. My mentor, my friend.

Don't want to hijack this thread so I will just end by saying that any words from Phil will be true and worthwhile.

[B]I[/B] need a nap after this!

Hugs to all
I can't say for sure, but when I came of oxy's (but i was snorting my 20's, usually 40mgs sometimes 60) it was definitely the addiction talking. I don't have the conditions you do, all I have is a fractured and dislocated pelvis, so I can't say for sure but... I'd talk to your dog a/b suboxone - it is a mild opiate that's not designed to control pain, but instead, keep you from having withdrawl. For the pain, I don't know of anything other than ultram during the day and flexoril at night... But you may need something like ambien, I can't say for sure... I've been hospitalized for 2 months and recovering for the next yr was hard, but not near as hard as the many many days/nights during my detox from opiates... But now I feel great and love sharing my story. Good luck!

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